In a bid to demean a power show orchestrated by rival political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Lahore, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Rana Sanaullah and Abid Sher Ali sparked damning outrage over misogynist statements.
The crude statements targeted women who participated in the PTI rally and Member National Assembly (MNA) Shireen Mazari. Where Sanaullah raised ‘concerns’ over the ‘character’ of PTI’s women supporters, Ali’s tirade elaborated the scuffle between him and MNA Murad Saeed during the parliament’s budget session on April 27.
Unsurprisingly, the comments received severe backlash from all quarters. Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Imran Khan expressed his disgust and strongly condemned the filthy language used by Sanaullah and Ali against PTI women supporters.
“In the past 30 years, these people have always disrespected women which is against our religion & culture. I want to thank our women for coming out in such huge numbers!”
MNA Mazari also condemned the language, adding that PTI could respond in kind about PML-N women supporter “but will not stoop” to their level.
Seasoned politician Shah Mehmood Qureshi also condemned the comments.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Syed Ali Raza Abidi termed the statements “unacceptable and disgusting”.
The statements also drew ire from journalist with Marvi Sirmed highlighting the patriarchal and misogynist culture in PML-N.
While Fasi Zaka used sarcasm to point out the obvious:
Ejaz Haider wondered why people expected any different from Sanaullah and Ali.
Punjab govt distances itself from Sanaullah, Ali’s statements
The Punjab Government distanced itself from the remarks by Provincial Law Minister Sanaullah and Minister of State for Power Abid Sher Ali. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also apologised for the statements. “PML-N acknowledges and encourages the role of women in national politics, he said. “Any statement demeaning them is highly irresponsible. We have to maintain decency and element of respect in political discourse. I apologise for anti-women remarks made by some party leaders.”
Speaking on Express News show Kal Tak, spokesperson for the Government of Punjab Malik Ahmed Khan condemned the comments. “Be it Sanaullah, Ali or Imran Khan – these remarks cannot be tolerated as these women are our mothers, sisters and daughters. I condemn what Sanaullah said.”
Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir-Khan also condemned the remarks on Twitter.